Down in Roccaland

     If you have ever had the good fortune to see your family name on the label of a wine bottle you can understand my interest when I saw mine attached to a premium Napa Valley winery. I started to wonder if there might be some family connection. I contacted Mary Rocca, owner of Rocca Family Vineyards to explore the possibility of us being related. I found Mary to be very kind and welcoming as we exchanged information about our ancestry. I learned a great deal about my own heritage and also about Mary’s. We found some amazing coincidences that would have never been discovered had we not reached out to each out. Mary generously sent a gift of her wine to be shared at my family reunion as an introduction between our families. I would like to say “Thank You” to Mary for all the time and effort she has taken from her busy schedule to assist me in this project. Although we haven’t identified any recent common threads we continue to search. Even if we can’t find any blood relatives uniting our families I will always consider Mary not only a friend but family. Mary has generously offered to discount the wine purchases of all of my readers when they enter either of these codes at checkout on http://roccawines.com  WPASHIP ($1 SHIPPING ON ANY ORDER) or WPA25 ($25 OFF ANY ORDER OF 2 BOTTLES OR MORE) These codes expire on 10/16/19 so don’t miss out on your chance to buy extraordinary wine from an outstanding Napa Valley winery with an insider’s deal.

Anyone that has ever dreamed of owning a vineyard and winery in Napa, California can only imagine the excitement that Mary Rocca and her husband Eric Grigsby felt when they

Mary Rocca at Rocca Family Vineyards Napa, California

decided to pursue that very dream. They began their search for the ideal Napa vineyard in 1996 while Mary juggled her dental practice, Eric his medical practice and not to mention their four young children at home. Their three-year search for the perfect vineyard came to fruition when they found a 21-acre vineyard deep in the heart of the Napa Valley. They renamed it the Grigsby vineyard and planted new rows of vines between the existing ones to essentially double their grape production. This vineyard is located between the warmer climate of the upvalley and the cooler maritime influences of the San Francisco Bay. The Grigsby vineyard is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon but also has 1 acre of Merlot and roughly 2.5 acres of Syrah. In 2000 Mary purchased the 11-acre Collinetta vineyard in the Coombsville appellation. The Collinetta vineyard is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 4 & Clone 337) but also has an acre of Cabernet Franc and an acre of Petit Verdot. Now with all the pieces in place Mary could focus on making her vision for Rocca Family Vineyards a reality.

     Many decisions had to be made when it came to what pillars the winery and vineyard

The Grigsby Vineyard

would be established on. For many of those choices Mary drew upon the deeply seated beliefs she had built her life and career on. First and foremost, Rocca wines had to be the best they could possibly be and show not only the most natural expression of the vines but also the environment in which they were grown. With that in mind, the choice to farm both vineyards with organic and sustainable viticulture was the only acceptable path forward. As conscientious stewards of the environment, everyone at

The Collinetta Vineyard

Rocca is acutely aware of the long-lasting and far-reaching effects that pesticides and herbicide can cause in the delicate balance of the ecosystem both locally and globally. The Grigsby and Collinetta vineyards have proven themselves by producing some of Napa Valley’s finest wine grapes and because they are organically farmed are U.S.D.A. organic and C.C.O.F. certified.

     In 1999 Mary hired Celia Welch Masyczek of Scarecrow fame as Rocca’s first winemaker and together they produced a long line of award winning and critically acclaimed wines. In 2008 Paul Colantuoni assumed the role of master winemaker at Rocca wines from Celia. With vineyard manager Sergio Melgoza nurturing the grapes and Paul’s skillful hand now making Rocca Family Vineyards wine the winery has continued on its accending arc vintage after vintage.

     If you would like to know more about the Rocca Family Vineyards story or are interesting in purchasing their wine please visit http://roccawines.com  Don’t forget to use the codes to receive a discount on your wine purchases. WPASHIP for $1 DOLLAR SHIPPING ON ANY ORDER or WPA25 for $25 OFF 2 BOTTLES OR MORE.

     Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter            

Vineyard Manager Sergio Melgoza, Mary Rocca and Winemaker Paul Colantuoni (left to right)

 

Eat Drink S F Festival

sea-city-mountains-landmark-medium     I have become fascinated with the proliferation of food and wine festivals across the U.S. The well-known events take place in cities with a strong identity that form an immediate visual image of what you might expect to encounter there. When I say Nashville, Miami, New York or Newport your mind immediately goes to you impression of those areas. Now when I say Eat Drink San Francisco what comes to mind.

Eat Drink S F is being billed as San Francisco’s premier food and drink festival. The event will be at Fort Mason, San Francisco, California on August 25-28, 2016. The Grand tastings at EDSF can’t be described they have to be experienced. Thirty six of San Francisco’s best restaurants will be under the festival pavilion roof at Fort Mason. You will  sample delicious dishes from all of them plus drinks from over 70 beer, wine and spirit makers. Demonstrations on the main and food stages, as well as, beverage classes will be lead by experts in their own field of interest. This type of gathering brings together “Like-minded” people. When I say “Like-minded” people I mean people who enjoy good food and drink. After that there is a world of new ideas and opinions to be exposed to.

Tickets are $119.00+$7.97 fee for the GA Grand Tastings and $209.00+11.80fee for the V.I.P. Grand Tastings. Click here for a list of participating restaurants http://eatdrink-sf.com/talent/restaurants Click here for the list of chefs that will be appearing http://eatdrink-sf.com/talent/chefs EDSF is a 21+ event. Your ticket is good for admission and everything you care to eat and drink at the festival so can have fun and keep your wallet in your pocket. To buy tickets go to the festival website http://eatdrink-sf.com This event is using #EDSF for social media posts about it.

 

Day 3 Ferry Building Market

The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries o...
The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries on the San Francisco Bay and an upscale shopping center located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. The Bay Bridge can be seen in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Ferry Building Marketplace on the Embarcadero
The Ferry Building Marketplace on the Embarcadero

    Day 3 begins like everyday on tour with us rising early, preparing for the days activities, enjoying a

Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building
Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building

good breakfast then it is to the coach because we have places to go and things to see.  Today we will be going to the Ferry Building to take an epicurean walking tour of the shops in the market.  Our guide for our Edible Excursion tour was Joshua, a young chef that will be sharing his passion for delicious fresh organic whole food that is locally grown and raised.  It is called the Ferry Building because this is where the ferryboats that ply the waters of the San Francisco Bay dock to on and off load their passengers.  The shops inside the building are open daily but the area around the main structure is the site of a Farmer’s Market several days during the week.  Joshua leads us on a walk from shop to shop where along the way we taste gluten-free baked goods at Mariposa, chocolates at Recchiutti Confections, Blue Bottle Coffee, fresh Vietnamese spring rolls at Out The Door the take-out only site for the Slanted Door restaurant plus several others before coming to our favorites Acme Bread Company and Cowgirl Creamery.  The two soft cheeses we tasted were the Mt. Tam (our favorite) made with triple cream and the washed rind Red Hawk (also very good) both were great with the Acme Bread Company’s French Baguette!  We wisely loaded our purchases into our reusable shopping tote, because if you need a bag it costs 10 cents.  This token charge is a gentle reminder for shoppers to use their reusable totes and help reduce the stress put on the environment by the massive amount of plastic bags discarded everyday.  The rest of our day is free for us to explore, shop and sightsee the distinctive neighborhoods of San Francisco up close, an experience that is only possible when done on foot.